Nibbana vs. annihilation?

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:49 am

Perhaps an epistemological atomist (for want of a better term), if you subscribe to Kalupahana's description above?

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:13 am

Sylvester wrote:Perhaps an epistemological atomist (for want of a better term), if you subscribe to Kalupahana's description above?
Only if you would read D. [N.].15{II,62} in tghose terms.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:54 am

Heaven forbid. Nothing close to ontological atomism, if that was what you thought I was suggesting. More like propositional atomism, a la Vienna Circle.

For myself, I don't know...

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:02 am

Sylvester wrote:Heaven forbid. Nothing close to ontological atomism, if that was what you thought I was suggesting. More like propositional atomism, a la Vienna Circle.

For myself, I don't know...
Honesty, damdifino what that is, but I don't think I like it. <<Google>>...{{{reading, reading}}}... I don't think Kalupahana would like it, either, but then I am no expert on Kalupahana.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:48 pm

Hi Nana, all,

Ñāṇa wrote:
    Monks, when the gods with Indra, with Brahmā and with Pajāpati seek a monk who is thus liberated in mind, they do not find anything of which they could say: “The tathāgata’s consciousness is dependent (nissita) on this.” Why? A tathāgata, I declare, is untraceable (ananuvejja) here and now (diṭṭheva).
In a number of sutta-s (e.g. S iv 119, S iv 186, S iv 189, S iv 199, & M i 270) an arahant’s mind is designated as a “measureless mind” (appamāṇacetasa → being free from any sort of measuring → pamāṇa). Elsewhere it is designated as “unestablished consciousness” (appatiṭṭha viññāṇa).


Thank you for those sutta quotes. As I understand it, what all those suttas say is that what we call an Arahant's mind has no feeling of "I, ME, MINE", an Arahant is not internally being somebody or something. An Arahant cannot be said to personally cling to this, or personally reject that. From a worldling perspective an Arahant is internally almost a non-being.

Ontologically a Self is not found in truth a reality. So all we have is that there are purified 5 aggregates (from asavas) that is conventionally called an Arahant.

So unestablished consciousness doesn't mean 6th Aggregate that survives the demise of 5 aggregates at parinibbana. Rather it is consciousness that is not established by greed,anger or delusion on anything. IMHO.


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:59 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:Since this equanimity goes beyond form I assume feeling does not apply.


Equinimity regarding form, assuming it doesn't refer to some special and temporary samadhi states, still doesn't change the fact that painful events can occur.
Also everything is anicca,dukkha and anatta - that would include Equinimity regarding form.


I cannot see how one can say dukkha is applicable to an Arahant.


Bodily pains, illness & death can still occur to a Buddha. An Arahant can be brutally murdered. Furthermore an Arahant doesn't personally like anything, so we can't say that "S/he" enjoys anything. There is mental peace, sure. But bodily disturbances still occur.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:14 pm

Jadson = "Element wrote:A simile may be appropriate here. A fire has the inherent characteristic of burning. But burning only occurs when an object is placed in the fire, such as a human hand. If a human hand is not placed in the fire, burning will not occur, pain will not occur.


A fire cannot occur without something (fuel) burning. I agree that it is possible to experience pain and at the same time do not experience ANY mental suffering. The painful feeling is there, however.


I have been following your discussion. Your interpretion of SN 36.11 above seems to not reconcile with the quote below from MN 38.
“On seeing a form with the eye, he does not lust after it if it is pleasing; he does not dislike it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body established, with an immeasurable mind, and he understands as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having thus abandoned favoring and opposing, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant, painful, or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, he does not delight in that feeling, welcome it, or remain holding to it. As he does not do so, delight in feelings ceases in him. With the cessation of his delight comes cessation of clinging; with the cessation of clinging, cessation of being; with the cessation of being, cessation of birth; with the cessation of birth, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.


But D.O. isn't momentary in that case. When one doesn't cling, there is no becoming, without becoming, there is no rebirth, without rebirth there is no pain inherent in existence (bodily pains, hunger, thirst, aging, illness, death, etc)




278. "All conditioned things are unsatisfactory" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.



To turn away from suffering there doesn't mean that one stops feeling all physical dukkha in this life. It can mean that one stops all craving & ignorance, and doesn't suffer emotionally in this life, and after death there is no rebirth - thus no physical dukkha in the next life.


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Nyana » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:29 am

Alex123 wrote:As I understand it, what all those suttas say is that what we call an Arahant's mind has no feeling of "I, ME, MINE", an Arahant is not internally being somebody or something. An Arahant cannot be said to personally cling to this, or personally reject that. From a worldling perspective an Arahant is internally almost a non-being.

Ontologically a Self is not found in truth a reality. So all we have is that there are purified 5 aggregates (from asavas) that is conventionally called an Arahant.

Hi Alex,

I would suggest that the aggregates are not realities either. They are conceptual designations (paññatti). The entire path employs such designations with no ontological commitment.

Alex123 wrote:So unestablished consciousness doesn't mean 6th Aggregate that survives the demise of 5 aggregates at parinibbana. Rather it is consciousness that is not established by greed,anger or delusion on anything. IMHO.

The passages cited clearly state that an arahant cannot be measured or classified in terms of the five aggregates. An arahant's consciousness cannot be traced whilst alive. Thus it is quite pointless and completely counterproductive to hold views regarding the existence or non-existence of said consciousness post-mortem. MN 72:

    The position that 'after death a Tathagata exists' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.

    The position that 'after death a Tathagata does not exist' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.

    The position that 'after death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.

    The position that 'after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:21 pm

Hello Geoff, all,

Ñāṇa wrote:I would suggest that the aggregates are not realities either. They are conceptual designations (paññatti). The entire path employs such designations with no ontological commitment.

This doesn't change the essence of what I was talking about. 5 Aggregates are anicca, dukkha and anatta. There is no Tathagata as an existing being within or outside of them. In that way Tathagata cannot be measured as a being, just like one cannot measure "the son of a barren woman".

The position that 'after death a Tathagata does not exist' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views.


And this is so because one was thinking about Tathagata as an existing being that either survives, does not survive, both, neither after death. That position is not accepted because it assumes a Tathagata or a Self that exists and its post-mortem state.

So if a Self or Tathagata isn't found even when 5 aggregates are present, what can be said about when they totally cease?


I hope that you are not trying argue for existence of some self in some indescribable way.


The point I was trying to make was:
There isn't a Self to be annihilated in the first place. Thus nothing to fear when 5 Khandhas cease and never reoccur"
All that ceases is just dukkha, and that makes parinibbana the ultimate ease and peace.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Nyana » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:31 pm

Alex123 wrote:5 Aggregates are anicca, dukkha and anatta.

Aniccatā, dukkhatā, and anattatā are also nominal designations.

Alex123 wrote:So if a Self or Tathagata isn't found even when 5 aggregates are present, what can be said about when they totally cease?

Obviously not one word.

Alex123 wrote:I hope that you are not trying argue for existence of some self in some indescribable way.

I'm not arguing for the existence or non-existence of anything.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:14 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Aniccatā, dukkhatā, and anattatā are also nominal designations.


Please explain what you have exactly meant by that.

Are you rejecting the states of anicca/dukkha/anatta? I hope not.

Also do you affirm the existence of Tathagata in some indescribable way?


IMHO, some people find the teaching of parinibbana threatening. They feel threatened that something that they value will cease. However as the Buddha has compassionately pointed out to us, it is only suffering that ceases. None of the aggregates, none of consciousness, none of awareness is worthy to keep as one's own property. Full cessation = full cessation of something that only was (overt or covert) dukkha.


Then the thought occurred to me, 'This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. [3] But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality & dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Nyana » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:37 pm

Alex123 wrote:Please explain what you have exactly meant by that.

Are you rejecting the states of anicca/dukkha/anatta? I hope not.

Hi Alex,

I'm rejecting the notion that any dhamma-s have true, inherent existence (sabhāvasiddhi). I'm suggesting that it's in keeping with the Pāḷi suttas to understand all dhamma-s as mere nominal designations (paññattimatta). In this way we can employ the teachings skillfully without succumbing to metaphysical speculation.

Alex123 wrote:Also do you affirm the existence of Tathagata in some indescribable way?

I haven't affirmed the existence of anything. You, on the other hand, keep trying to classify a tathāgata according to the five aggregates, and then implying that these five aggregates are truly existent things.

You're certainly free to believe whatever views you wish to believe, but the passages previously cited are quite clearly informing us that a tathāgata cannot be reckoned according to the five aggregates. Moreover, there are no discourses whatsoever which support the notion that the aggregates or any phenomena are truly existent things.

Alex123 wrote:IMHO, some people find the teaching of parinibbana threatening.

And some people find the groundlessness right here, right now, threatening.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:08 am

Ñāṇa wrote: You, on the other hand, keep trying to classify a tathāgata according to the five aggregates, and then implying that these five aggregates are truly existent things.
That is the pivot around which this whole thing is swirling and the mistake that Alex is making. You and Paul have neatly shown this to be so.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:49 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote: You, on the other hand, keep trying to classify a tathāgata according to the five aggregates, and then implying that these five aggregates are truly existent things.
That is the pivot around which this whole thing is swirling and the mistake that Alex is making. You and Paul have neatly shown this to be so.



I am not classifying Tathagata as self existing being.


Tilt, do you believe that there is something that remains after Parinibbana? Yes or No.


As for 5 aggregates existing, even the Buddha has said them to EXIST (I've provided SN sutta somewhere in this thread).
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:55 am

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote: You, on the other hand, keep trying to classify a tathāgata according to the five aggregates, and then implying that these five aggregates are truly existent things.
That is the pivot around which this whole thing is swirling and the mistake that Alex is making. You and Paul have neatly shown this to be so.



I am not classifying Tathagata as self existing being.
I did not say you were. The problem, as Ñāṇa and Paul have made clear, is how you regard the khandhas.


Tilt, do you believe that there is something that remains after Parinibbana? Yes or No.
It is a wrongly put question, as the texts I (and others) have quoted show.


As for 5 aggregates existing, even the Buddha has said them to EXIST (I've provided SN sutta somewhere in this thread).
Quote those texts again, and let us look at them carefully. Also, the question is what do mean by "EXISTS?" Ñāṇa has also carefully addressed this issue and you have, in turn, not really addressed to his points.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Nyana » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:03 am

Alex123 wrote:As for 5 aggregates existing, even the Buddha has said them to EXIST (I've provided SN sutta somewhere in this thread).

Hi Alex,

There is a world of difference between saying "It is" (atthi as found in SN 22.94) and maintaining that "It has true, inherent existence" (sabhāvasiddhi).

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:08 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Alex123 wrote:As for 5 aggregates existing, even the Buddha has said them to EXIST (I've provided SN sutta somewhere in this thread).

Hi Alex,

There is a world of difference between saying "It is" (atthi as found in SN 22.94) and maintaining that "It has true, inherent existence" (sabhāvasiddhi).

All the best,

Geoff


If you like that terminology, OK, lets say 5 aggregates "are" . How would that change what the Buddha has said on Parinibbana?

And where have I said that 5 aggregates "It has true, inherent existence" (sabhāvasiddhi)" ?
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:18 am

tiltbillings wrote:Quote those texts again, and let us look at them carefully. Also, the question is what do mean by "EXISTS?" Ñāṇa has also carefully addressed this issue and you have, in turn, not really addressed to his points.


Alex quoting SN22,94 sutta wrote:“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists? Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists. Feeling that is impermanent … Perception … Volitional constructions … Consciousness that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I
too say that it exists.
SN22.94 (2) Flowers BB Trans.



Again, lets for the sake of discussion, say that I have meant that 5 aggregates, either:
A)have "true, inherent existence" (sabhāvasiddhi)"
B) Have only experiential, existence/functionality, they are.

I prefer to the B option.


How would A or B meaning alter the fact that:
1) Parinibbāna is cessation of all Dukkha
2) Parinibbāna is final cessation and no rearising of 5 aggregates?
3) There isn't anything (awareness, experiencing, knowing, willing, etc) that exists in parinibbāna.


Please forgive me, but it sounds to me as if some are trying to justify some sort of survival, of parinibbāna being some form of experience, awareness, existence.
Last edited by Alex123 on Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:36 am

Greetings Alex,

It would be interesting to see some different translations of SN 22.94. For example, the translation of this section of text at the following site, shows no sign of such ontological proclamations...

http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ggo-e.html

Monks, there is righteous wisdom in the world, as matter is impermanent, unstable, does not stand forever without a change. I too say, it is so.

Monks, there is righteous wisdom in the world, as feelings, perceptions, intentions are impermanent, unstable, not everlasting, changes. I too say, it is so.

Monks, there is righteous wisdom in the world, as consciousness is impermanent, unstable, does not stand forever without change. I too say, it is so.

I acknowledge Bhikkhu Bodhi is a good translator, but he does translate in such a way as to support his world view... which (although he acknowledges that the first four volumes of the Sutta Pitaka should be the final arbitrator in discussions on Dhamma) is closely tied to an atomistic, Abhidhammic schema whereby all things are classified as paramattha dhammas, whereby all dhammas exist (in-and-of-themselves) and have sabhava (self-nature). It is a world view which arose after the Buddha's time, not to be found in the first four volumes of the Sutta Pitaka.

Metta,
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:37 am

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Quote those texts again, and let us look at them carefully. Also, the question is what do mean by "EXISTS?" Ñāṇa has also carefully addressed this issue and you have, in turn, not really addressed to his points.


Alex quoting SN22,94 sutta {CDB i 949} wrote:“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists? Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists. Feeling that is impermanent … Perception … Volitional constructions … Consciousness that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I
too say that it exists.
SN22.94 (2) Flowers BB Trans.
And what kind of "existence" are talking about here? Also, this is not a stand alone text.

Please forgive me, but it sounds to me as if some are trying to justify some sort of survival, or parinibbana being some form of experience.
I would only repeat what the texts themselves say. Don't try to put words into my mouth, please.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson


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